7 Small Business Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Did you know that there are more than 32 million small businesses in the United States of America? Running a small business is a lot of work, and it’s vital that you create the most positive customer experience possible. Nothing will make your customers unhappy quicker than a poor shipping experience.

There are some serious small business shipping mistakes out there that too many small businesses seem to make, but there is still time for you to avoid these potential landmines. Providing customers with a way to monitor shipment progress will go a long way to building a lasting relationship with them.

The good news is that you’re in the right place to learn about seven costly shipping mistakes to avoid and the different shipping practices you can use. Keep reading this article to learn more today!

1. Improper Packaging

Man packing box

Using the right sizes of packaging for your products is something that gets overlooked far more than you’d think. You need to take the time to measure your products and ensure that you have the right product package dimensions if you want to ensure that your products are arriving at the customer’s doorstep on time and intact.

There are a number of carriers that won’t bother accepting your packages if you’re not using the right product package dimensions. You can cut out unnecessary costs that will build up by using boxes that allow your products to fit in a safe manner. You’ll also limit liability and have much happier customers when you take the time to find the right size for your packages.

2. Inaccurate Shipment Weights

Another big mistake that many small businesses make when it comes to shipping mistakes is providing inaccurate shipping weights. It’s possible that your small business doesn’t have the equipment necessary for weighing products or shipments. If that’s the case then you could be stuck estimating how much you think the shipment weighs.

One great solution to this is buying shipping containers. It’s especially effective if you’re shipping large products or you’re shipping in bulk to different customers. If you do a lot of business-to-business transactions the might be a good idea to check out using an sscc label in addition to getting shipping containers.

3. Wrong Freight Class

Shipping containers

It’s normal for small businesses to look for ways to save money in order to keep up with the big competitors. One way that they’ll do that is by finding the cheapest ways to ship their products to the customer. This often results in choosing the lowest class of freight possible as a means to save more money.

Saving money is great, but choosing the wrong freight class could result in some dire consequences for your small business. Odds are that the carrier will identify things that were designated incorrectly which will end with you paying a fee for them getting reclassified.

The freight class is arguably the number one determining factor in determining how much it will cost to ship something. These carriers spend a lot of time classing freight to make sure that everything gets paid for in the correct manner.

4. Shipment Service Capabilities

You need to have a full understanding of the shipping service’s capabilities prior to agreeing to work with them when trying to get your products to customers. These different shipping practices are also important because your customers might have different requirements when receiving the shipments.

If the person who is receiving the products doesn’t have a liftgate then it could result in the shipment getting sent back. You’ll get hit with an expensive charge for re-delivery if you pick a shipping service that can’t meet your needs. You should always know where your freight is going and whether or not the shipping service can meet your needs.

5. Relying on One Carrier

Man holding box

One of the biggest errors that you can make when it comes to small business shipping mistakes is relying on one shipping service for all of your needs. It makes sense to work with one carrier, especially if you have a long relationship with them. Still, using only one shipping service for all of your needs could cost you thousands of extra dollars each year.

If that carrier experiences a shortage of drivers or a bunch of mechanical issues then you could be out of luck when it comes to getting your products to the customer. You’ll find a ton of products and orders piling up with no one to haul and deliver them for you.

6. Delivery Receipt and Shipment Tracking

It’s vital that the person receiving the shipment looks over the products that get delivered to look for any damage or abnormalities. They can then sign off on the products after that examination occurs. If the person receiving the shipment doesn’t look over everything and report any damage then it is difficult to file a damage claim.

Having a clean delivery receipt will make everyone’s life easier. You owe it to your customers to make this part of your shipping service.

7. Incorrect Address

Box without address

Arguably the biggest and most preventable mistake when it comes to running a small business is shipping your products to the wrong address. Any time that shippers rush when trying to send out products they increase the odds of entering the wrong address for the customer.

It doesn’t take much to go wrong and find that your products got delivered to the incorrect address. One wrong number in the ZIP code will end up with the products getting shipped hours away from the proper destination.

Avoid These Costly Small Business Shipping Mistakes

Running a small business takes a ton of work, especially when you’re shipping large products to customers all around the country. Avoiding small business shipping mistakes like entering the wrong address or guessing the freight class will end up costing you customers and money. You should also make sure that you’re measuring product package dimensions for the best results.

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